The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Lying may work momentarily. But one lie requires more to cover it, and it forms a habit, and then you will be found out as a liar and fraud. But the man who always tells the truth will live securely and be prospered by God and men. Make total honesty your policy.
There are two metonyms here – lip and tongue – which stand for the words they produce. Both serve the same purpose. They are used to represent the speaking ability of a man and the words he utters. The lip of truth describes a man who always uses his lips to speak the truth. A lying tongue describes a man who often uses his tongue to form lies.
Jehovah is God of truth (Deut 32:4). He hates lies and liars (Pr 6:16-19). All liars shall spend eternity in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8,27; 22:15). Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness, because He loved truth and always spoke the truth (Rev 3:14; 19:11). A great man worthy of honor and promotion is a man of truth (Ex 18:21; Jer 5:1; Zech 8:16).
The devil is the father of lies; he told the first lie in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:4-5). Things have not changed since. His whole existence is based on a lie – rebellion against God. He is a deceiver, and so are all his false teachers. They transform themselves to appear as something very different than reality in order to deceive (II Cor 11:3-4,13-15).
The Gibeonites feared as Israel crossed the Jordan River and began annihilating the cities and nations of Canaan. They lied about their nearby location to save their lives, and they tasted relief and success for a moment, only to end up as perpetual slaves (Josh 9:3-27).
Was Gehazi’s moment worth it? He took two talents of silver and two sets of clothes from Naaman, who liberally gave them to him, but Elisha exposed his lies and left him and his family lepers for life (II Kgs 5:20-27). God will not be mocked. Hate lying!
Was Peter’s moment worth it? He avoided arrest when confronted about his relationship to Jesus Christ. But consider the Lord’s look (Luke 22:60-62), the Lord’s confrontation (Jn 21:15-19), and all men reading about his denial in the gospels even during his life.
Lying may work momentarily. You may escape from punishment or trouble, or you may gain an unfair advantage, by a lie; but you will eventually be discovered, and the net results will prove you a fool. Even if you avoid detection for your entire life, it is only a moment when the weight and duration of eternal punishment are measured against it.
A liar often uses words to cover sins and to pretend to have knowledge greater than he actually has. Once he has told one lie, he usually must tell another one to cover the first, and so his hypocrisy gets worse and worse. When he is finally discovered as a cheat and liar, he is avoided by all men, punished by the magistrate, and judged by Almighty God.
An honest man always tells the truth. He does not exaggerate or embellish facts. He takes pains to make sure his claims can be proven. If he cannot prove a matter, then he does not speak or offers only an opinion. Because his word can be trusted, men put more and more confidence in him, until he is established with an honorable reputation for integrity.
It is your solemn duty to tell the truth regardless of cost to yourself or others. Rather than looking at faces and considering their thoughts to determine if you should tell the truth, look by faith at the face of a holy God and consider His thoughts about your lie. What does He offer for telling the truth? You show the evidence of eternal life (Ps 15:1-5).
It is a sacred duty to hate lies, regardless of the advantage or benefit the devil or world tells you might come by them. Do not be gullible like Eve to the lies of others. The consequences of that lie are still horrible to this day. Hate dishonesty, exaggeration, and lying in all their forms. If you lie, you will be discovered and punished soon. Believe it.
Honesty and truth are wonderful. You never need worry about being discovered. You never need lie again to cover an earlier lie. Others will trust and respect you. God will bless you. You will promote the gospel and have evidence of eternal life. For this reason, Paul exhorted Christians to provide things honest before all men (Ro 12:17; II Co 8:21).
Politicians often put a spin on issues, designed to avoid, mislead, or deceive men. But one King always told the truth and defended the truth – Jesus Christ. He explained on trial for His life, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jn 18:37). Pilate, typical of educated men, said to Him, “What is truth?” (Jn 18:38). Are you of the truth? Have you heard His voice and believed on Him and all that He taught? Do so today!